Despite making up just 14% of the population, ethnic minority men and women make up 25% of prisoners, while over 40% of young people in custody are from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds.
If our prison population reflected the actual make-up of England and Wales, we would have 9,000 fewer people in prison – equal to 12 average-sized prisons. There is a greater proportion of black people in prisons here than in the United States.
Lammy’s conclusion is that BAME individuals still face bias in parts of the justice system. Prejudice has dropped but still exists in wider society.
“I hope that all those in leadership positions will recognise the scale of the change needed and rise to meet that challenge,” said Lammy.
What I think?
I think this bias is because of police targeting and labelling specific groups more than others. Due to this targeting, those within the BAME communities are discouraged from abiding by a law system that oppresses them.
It is evident that there is discrimination in the youth criminal justice system against ethnic minorities and that the police focus on Asian and black youth more than they would white teens.
If society was fairer in its treatment and punishment of minority groups within Britain then crimes committed by them would reduce, as they would feel respected rather than rejected.
Exposure’s ‘Fed Up’ short film aims to bridge the gap between young people and the police.